Using the strategy of “one day at a time”

If we could all truly embrace the Biblical principle of taking just one day at a time, we would all be better off!  Yes, this is a Bible principle.  Jesus says in Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  In other words, instead of worrying and fretting about the “what if…” questions, Jesus tells us to just focus on doing what we should do today.

How does this apply to you?  If it seems overwhelming to you to put your marriage back together after betrayal, just choose to move forward, one day at a time.  If you tend to avoid confronting your husband or establishing boundaries on wrong behavior because you fear the possibility of future tension, trust in Jesus and move forward, one day at a time.  If you don’t think you can take off the 50 pounds you’ve gained in recent years, don’t think about how hard this is going to be for the rest of your life. Just choose to eat healthy today, and take it one day at a time.

Worrying about the future is pointless.  Being consumed by the “what if…” questions will only keep you trapped in fear.  Let’s do what Jesus says.  Let’s decide each morning to do what we know we should do that day, and let’s trust God to handle tomorrow.

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Are you desperately seeking guidance on what to do?

In any relationship, especially a marriage, there are going to be times when the two of you are in conflict.  Perhaps your husband is breaking your heart through wrong behavior.  At each of those times, we have to make really big decisions.  Should I confront my husband on an issue where he appears to be out of line?  Should I keep quiet and press into prayer, relying on the Holy Spirit to work in my husband’s heart?  Should I compromise on an issue where we’ve been in conflict?

At these times, counsel from other godly women is very helpful, but honestly, my very best guidance comes from God himself.  I just need to take a few moments to be quiet with Him and ask Him to speak direction into my mind and heart.  Psalm 142:3 says “When my spirit faints within me, you know my way.” Thank you Lord!

I did this recently on an issue between me and a close relative.  I thought for sure I should make a certain decision, but once I spent just a few moments quieting myself and asking God to speak His counsel into my mind, I received guidance to go the exact opposite direction!  He even allowed me to see why my original idea was flawed. Try this yourself.  God is waiting at the door of your mind and heart.  Open the door and let Him in.

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What to do when he comes up with crazy new ideas!

Are you bewildered by the amount of time your husband spends surfing online to check out the latest, badest motorcycles available, or talking about quitting his job to open a risky new business, or dreaming about buying a huge boat and sailing around the world?  Apparently, you’re not alone!  Many wives report being frustrated, bewildered, and maybe even scared about their husband’s “crazy” ideas to spend way too much money on a hobby or to take a gigantic risk on some new money-making adventure.  So, what’s a wife to do?  Let me give you two thoughts:

1)  Since a wife is to show respect to her husband (Ephesians 5:33), avoid the tendency to ridicule his plans, but instead come to him gently and with a true desire to understand how his idea would work.  You can simply say, “Tell me more about your idea…”  Then, you can ask gentle, respectful follow-up questions, such as, “How are you thinking we would handle the financial part of that idea?” or “Do you have some thoughts on how we would pay our mortgage while your new business is getting started?”

2)  Also, ask your husband if he will take the matter to God in prayer to seek God’s guidance on his dreams and plans. By the way, it will be super helpful if you’re humble and ask your husband if he has any concerns about the way that you spend your free time or about the things you tend to focus on.  When we are humble, our husbands are much more willing to accept input and gentle correction.  Colossians 3:12 says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

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When you need to vent your frustration…

When the kids are fighting with each other and you overcooked the dinner and you shrunk your favorite new sweater…it’s pretty natural to get a bit grouchy.  In those moments, we usually need to “vent”.  Unfortunately, our husbands often get the brunt of our “venting”!  In fact, the men whom we promised to love and respect can become our scapegoats.  The tragically funny thing is then we wonder why our husbands don’t seem to enjoy being around us very much!

One husband once told me that encountering his wife as he walked in the door at the end of his work day was like walking into a buzz saw.  She was wired and churning and her tongue was sharp enough to slice right through him.  Yikes.

Yes, ladies, we all need to vent sometimes.  Some days are incredibly challenging.  But let’s pick the correct scapegoat.  If we need to talk to someone about our stress, anger, or exhaustion, let’s turn to God.  He has really broad shoulders and he’s not afraid to hear what’s on your mind.  Psalm 40:1-2 says “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”  Jesus is the correct scapegoat.  In fact, if you study the origin of the word “scapegoat”, it was the term used by the Israelites for a goat that symbolically carried their sins away.  Wow!  Jesus really is our scapegoat, and he perfectly carries our sins away, as well as our anger and frustration on a really bad day.

So when you feel the frustration mounting and you can tell you’re about to snap at a family member, mentally give your irritation to the Lord.  Just picture handing it over to Him.  Then take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and chuckle at the enemy’s pitiful attempt to make you lose your temper!  Hah!  His stupid plan is defeated once again. You are victorious through Christ!

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How to effectively confront issues with your husband

In an ideal world, a wife would never have to confront her husband about some kind of disrespectful, destructive, or just plain immoral behavior.  However, we live in a fallen world, and both men and women can easily stray into sinful choices that hurt the people they love.

If you are a wife who is ready to confront your husband over some kind of wrong behavior, here’s what not to do!   Don’t treat him like he’s the enemy.  Don’t give him that look says “you disgust me”.  Don’t scold him like he’s a 3 year-old child.  Don’t roll your eyes.

Instead, as you’re bringing up the issue that is causing you distress, let your husband know that you are for him and your marriage.  A man will shut down if he feels his wife is against him.  A man will tune his wife out if she is disrespectful.  The Bible says “the wife must respect her husband” in Ephesians 5:33, and this is critical when a wife addresses issues of concern with her husband.  Let your man know that you love him and want to work with him as his partner to overcome the challenge.  Speak gently and encourage him by reminding him of his good qualities.  If he knows you are truly for him, he will be much more apt to listen to what you’re saying instead of shutting you out or flying into a rage.

Oh, and one more tip.  To help make sure he doesn’t get super defensive, start out by asking this gentle question: “Help me understand why….”  When you ask him that instead of starting out with strong accusations, he will be much more likely to talk calmly with you!

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Ideas on date night conversation-starters

We’ve all seen that couple at a restaurant…that couple that hardly speaks a word to each other throughout the whole meal.  Don’t be that couple!  You and your husband may not be used to revealing your hearts to each other, but give it a try, and don’t just talk about the kids.  Here are two helpful hints in terms of making your husband comfortable in opening up his heart to you in conversation:  1) Show an actual interest in what your husband shares  2) Do not criticize, point out flaws, or roll your eyes at the things he shares!   Philippians 2:4 instructs…”Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interest of others.”  So, really listen to the hopes, dreams, fears, concerns, and feelings of your husband.

Here are 4 questions you could use as date night conversation starters:

1)  What makes you feel most fully alive…as in what do you so enjoy doing that you feel great satisfaction or delight and you easily lose track of time?

2)  If you had 100 million dollars and didn’t have to work for a living, what would you love to do with your time and money?

3) What are the 2 or 3 most impactful moments of your life?

4) What was the best part of your day and what was the most discouraging part of your day?

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